Taking Pride To The Next Level


Oakley Pastoor Price, Reporter

“As the LGBT community grows, more and more straight cis people fetishize the community and idolize people that are part of the community.” Says Vidalia Flores, a sophomore at Milwaukie High School about pride month. Pride month is a celebration of LGBT people during the month of June. Pride has become a well known event as most places have pride parades or festivals.

Everyone celebrates pride for different reasons, Vidalia, who identifies as a bisexual women says “I celebrate pride as a way to remember all the powerful people that have come before and to appreciate what they’ve done.” Ben Jurkovich, a upcoming senior at Milwaukie High School who identifies as gay says he celebrates pride because “It’s important to support people in my community and carry on the legacy of people in the gay civil rights movement, especially the Stonewall riots and Harvey Milk.”

The Stonewall riots were one of the most memorable starts of the fight for equal rights in the LGBT community. The Stonewall riots started because in 1969 on June 28th a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village started a series of violent demonstrations carried out by the members of the LGBT community. In the 50’s and 60’s very few places welcomed members of the LGBT community, the Stonewall Inn was one of the few bars that did. Police raids on gay bars were normal in the 60s but officers lost control of the situation at Stonewall Inn, after this Greenwich Village erupted into more protests in the next couple days. People. who lived in the neighborhood and activists started to put efforts into establishing places for the LGBT community to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.


Now in 2019 pride festivals have come to be something else. Manchester’s Pride Festival’s headliner is Ariana Grande, a straight woman, because of this Manchesters pride has faced backlash. Gabby Lund, senior at Milwaukie High School who identifies as a bisexual women says “I don’t really agree with her headlining the show because it just seems stupid because you’re having a straight women play a gay festival. You’re not giving gay and trans people and people part of the LGBT community a change to shine at their event.” Mayo Roy-Hart, a sophomore at Milwaukie says “I believe that LGBT performers should in general have priority.”

Since pride parades and festivals have become more widespread, more and more people have been coming to show their support. But along with LGBT members and allies coming, false allies have been coming too. Mayo Roy-Hart, who identifies as gay says “Pride should always be about the LGBT community but cishet (cisgender and heterosexual) are welcome! As long as you’re there to support your LGBT friends, and not to get drunk and take pictures.”

Gabby Lund adds on saying “I think pride in some ways has become an event for straight people because straight women will be posting pictures on their Instagram kissing their bestfriend at pride, even though on Instagram, they’ll say “Oh, I’m not gay. And they’ll be harassing people that are.”


Despite all of this, pride parades and festivals are a wonderful experience. Ben Jurkovich says, “I think they’re amazing and so much fun. They really paint the LGBTQ+ community in a good light.” Tori Lund, a sophomore at Milwaukie who identifies as bisexual also says “Seeing news about pride parades and festivals makes me very happy because it shows me that the people in our community are finally taking pride in who they are after being oppressed for so long.”


Even with all this celebration we should also thank those who came before us and made this possible, Mayo says “Some people have forgotten that the first pride parade was actually a riot, created by three black trans women. Please remember them and the risks they took so that we could be ourselves today.” We should celebrate what we have accomplished as a community and where we have gotten, but we also need to remember those who came before us who gave us the ability to celebrate pride today.